Month: February 2011


"For a cautionary tale, everyone cites Paul Bradley Carr." - THE SUNDAY TIMES


Sold! US Rights to The Upgrade (Phew)

They say all good things come to he who waits, but I have no idea if that’s true. I’ve never really been a he who waits.

Certainly my experience in finding a US publisher for my forthcoming book suggests there’s some truth in the aphorism. Despite the best efforts of my agent, my publisher and countless well-meaning, well-connected friends, no publisher on this side of the Atlantic took even a slight interest in The Upgrade. Some, I’m sure, thought it was a lousy book, but most simply demurred on the grounds that it was “very British”.

By last month the situation had got so desperate – so ridiculous – that I wrote a column on TechCrunch pleading for someone to build an eBay for foreign book rights; a platform where I could at least give away the rights for free to some backwater US publisher with nothing to lose.

Sadly, as of today, no entrepreneur has heeded my call. But, to be honest, I don’t really care: the column had another slightly ironic – and utterly satisfying – consequence. It finally got me a US deal.

With a great publisher. For actual money.

The break came a few hours after the column was published.…

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How I spent my 31st birthday

With all the fuss regarding AOL buying the HuffPo and Arianna Huffington taking over as editor in chief of all content, it’s easy to forget that writing for TechCrunch isn’t actually my real job. My real job is writing books about myself.

I’m right in the middle of that yawning quiet period between filing the manuscript for The Upgrade and the publication date in May. During that time, my publicist has urged me – on pain of promotional death – not to do any personal press. Generally I am happy to be under her thumb: she understands her job way better than I do. But every so often I can’t help myself.

Take, for example, the email I received at the end of last year from a feature writer at Loaded magazine. Yep, Loaded.

Would I be interested in being profiled by them about my life living in hotels. My 30-year-old (at the time) self was unconvinced : “Loaded? I’m a 30 year old author, not a 19 year old glamour model – what business do I have in the pages of Loaded?” My 18-year-old self, however, had already replied to the email. Fuck Yeah.

And so, on the morning of my 31st birthday, I opened the door to my London hotel room and welcomed Loaded’s Sam Rowe, photographer Vincent Dolman, a couple of other Loaded staffers and – oh yes – the very lovely Prudence.



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